Finally, another ramen place in Dublin: The Ramen Bar
Gosh – I miss traveling! And whenever I get hit by the I-miss-traveling bug, I always think about our vacation in Japan a couple of years ago during spring. Japan will always have a soft spot for me. I don’t know why, but there is something so fascinating about Japan that I’d never think twice packing my bags to go there if I can!
When I miss a certain place, food cravings start to follow. It probably stems from the fact that whenever I travel, eating authentic dishes is a must so traveling and eating is ALWAYS a must for me!
Dublin has a lot of good Asian restaurants, all thanks to the diverse nationalities already living here. There are a number of authentic Japanese restaurants around the city center that my husband and I often visit but I was pleasantly surprised when my husband told me there is a new player in town called The Ramen Bar. It is located at William Street and it’s like an extension of an established Japanese takeaway/sushi place called Kokoro. He accidentally saw the newly opened ramen bar one weekday he passed by from work so we made plans to visit on a weekend.
When we arrived, we got our seats immediately. We went there with our son so it was good they have a high chair for kids. The only downside is that the ramen bar has stools/high chairs and high tables but the “kiddie” chair a tad bit too low for the table. It might work for a smaller “baby” but for a toddler who wants to join the action at the dining table, this setup is a little bit inconvenient.
After we managed to get everything setup, we received our menus. I really like looking at a “basic” and simple menu like this. It reminded me a lot of a ramen bar in London called Tonkotsu that we eat at if we are there.
It took a while for us to decide which food to order but I eventually decided to get the Tonkotsu Black. In my mind, I thought that I’d get a black broth (maybe squid-ink based) ramen – similar to the way I have it in another ramen bar in the Philippines called Ramen Nagi. I also made a few requests to change the way my son’s food will be served and the staff gladly obliged which I really appreciate.
About 10-15 minutes later, we were given a complimentary “fusion” starter. I am not sure whether it is something they ONLY do during weekends (my husband didn’t have it the first time he went there) but I thought it was really yummy. The sauce was thick and not sickeningly sweet. The soft-boiled egg was perfectly cooked and the thin slice of pork chashu melted in my mouth. The crispy chicken strip was a great way to add texture, too!
It was a great way to start the meal. My husband and I were still talking about the free starter when our orders arrived! Well, to be honest, I was quite disappointed to see my “black” tonkotsu ramen not literally black. It made me realize that the black bit meant for the toasted garlic garnish added and not necessarily for the broth, LOL!
I may be disappointed simply because I had expectations but that faded when I took the first sip of my broth. It was rich, almost creamy – closely similar to the ramen broth from Tonkotsu in London. The meat was super tender and the noodles not mushy. Yum!
I really loved the dining experience we had that Sunday. It was a tad inconvenient to go with a small child because of the choice of chairs and tables, but the food makes the trip worth it. So far, this is the closest ramen bowl that brought me back to my Japan trip a couple of years ago. And I have high hopes this place will continuously do so as it picks up the pace.